(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Giving free passes to a team like Dunklin County Post 303 only raises the chances of getting burned.
The eight walks and four hit batsmen eventually caught up with Sikeston Post 114 in the third inning on Tuesday evening as Parker Watkins and the Dunklin Dodgers walked over the home team 14-2 in five innings.
"They're just a quality ball club," Sikeston coach Chris Crosby said. "They always get the best players from the Bootheel from teams that are pretty strong. They're going to be a hand full, year in and year out.
"If you don't make a play, they're going to make you pay for it and that's what they did."
A 12-run third inning highlighted by a grand slam from Watkins was the beginning of the end for Sikeston.
Post 114 starter Josh Boese had troubles locating pitches which led to four hit batsmen and one walk. Dunklin County was up 6-0 when Boese gave way to Ross Carter with two outs and the bases loaded in the third. Carter fared no better, walking his first three batters making it 9-0.
Ross Bohannon was the next pitcher to take the hill, inheriting another bases loaded situation. Watkins hammered a rare strike of the inning to deep center field for the grand slam home run, his second round-tripper of the game making it 13-0.
Austin Jackson immediately followed Watkins' blast with one of his own. Jackson's solo shot was the final run plated by Post 303, but it was more than enough to take care of Sikeston.
"The wheels just fell off from there," said Crosby. "We ended up walking a few guys and, of course, we give up the grand slam. It's tough to battle back from that."
Post 114 scored their two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Bryan Freed hit a slow roller up the middle to score both Evan Underwood from third and Nathan Holland from second bringing the score to the final of 14-2.
Sikeston matched Post 303's six hits. Both Underwood and Freed had two hits apiece while Dunkilin County's Watkins was the only player with two hits; both home runs.
Josh Boese was tagged with the loss on the mound. He lasted 2 2/3 giving up nine runs on three hits, four walks and four hit batters.
"He didn't do bad early on," Crosby said about Boese. "This is probably the first time he's thrown since the high school season. He had a little trouble getting his fastball over.
"It's still early in the season and we'll keep running him out there and hopefully he'll keep improving."
Carter was charged with three runs while Bohannon gave up two. Bohannon struck out Aaron Booker to end the run-filled top of the third inning and right on to pitch two scoreless innings giving up just one hit.
"With Ross, you know he's going to come in and throw strikes," said Crosby about Bohannon. "In that situation that's what you've got to have. He came in and was able to throw two pitches for strikes.
"Whenever your able to do that you can kind of keep them off balance and that's what he did. He did a good job."
Dunklin County's Dylan Lynn picked up the win by throwing four scoreless innings.
Post 114 will be off until Friday when they travel to Charleston to be a part of the Charleston Squirrels Woodfest tournament.
Dunklin Co. 02(12) 00 -- 14
Sikeston 00 0 02 -- 2
WP -- Dylan Lynn. LP -- Josh Boese (0-1). Multiple hitters -- (D) Parker Watkins 2-4; (S) Bryan Freed 2-3, Evan Underwood 2-2. 2B -- (D) Heath Horvath. HR -- Watkins 2, Austin Jackson.